It only takes a few minutes of watching one of those embarrassing talent shows to realize that everyone (and I mean, EVERYONE) has something ‘special’ they can do.
Assuming your something special is a little more practical than riding a unicycle while simultaneously yodeling and juggling fire or the ability to stick foreign objects into one of your orifices without the subsequent trip to the ER, you need to find your amazing and share that talent with the world.
Why You Need to Focus on Your Strengths
The adage “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should” applies to business as much as it applies to life. Just because you can do everything in your business doesn’t mean you should.
From a purely logistics perspective, doing what you do best takes far less time and effort than dragging your heels doing something you aren’t good at or even worse, hate doing. And focusing on what you are the best at means your business benefits from that unique talent.
How to Delegate Your Weaknesses
It’s important to note that there’s a big difference between ‘delegating’ and ‘dumping’. Delegating is the systematic approach to handing off projects and responsibilities. Dumping is the blind assignment of tasks in the hope that they never return to your desk again.
Ironically, dumping usually results in exactly that – the prompt and unwanted return of the hated task. When done properly, delegation means responsibilities can be transferred between members of your team without your involvement in the process.
#1: Make the Yucky List – Create a list of all the tasks you dread doing or that take you an extraordinary amount of time to accomplish. The Yucky List can include anything that steals your time away from focusing on your strengths, like folding laundry or sorting receipts to file expense reports.
#2: Systematize Tasks – Map out a basic system for accomplishing everything on the Yucky List you wish to delegate. Even the most menial tasks need a basic system so you don’t need to waste time correcting or fixing errors down the road.
#3: Simplify or Automate – Evaluate what can first be simplified or automated before delegating it. Simplifying and automating the tasks you wish to delegate will save you both time and money because you won’t be handing off an unnecessarily complex task.
#4: Hire or Outsource – Create a job description and qualifications based on what you need to delegate. In some instances, you may need to outsource to multiple people in order to benefit from specialized knowledge. Because you invested the time in documenting and systematizing what you are outsourcing, the transition will be much easier.
#5: Evaluate and Readjust – One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is handing off tasks and never checking in. Develop core metrics to determine if a system is successful. An example of a useful metric is how much time it takes your team member to complete a particular task. If it’s taking too long, that’s a sign you need to readjust.
The One Exception to the Weakness Rule: If one of your weaknesses falls into the category of core entrepreneurial skills, like marketing or finance, you cannot simply delegate and forget. It is essential that you get to a minimum level of competence so you can work with the experts in those areas. For example, you need a base level of marketing knowledge in order to evaluate the campaign suggestions from your marketing team.